The New Zealand Commerce Commission has new responsibilities to monitor and regulate the grocery sector under the Grocery Industry Competition Act 2023.
In 2022, the Market Study into the grocery sector found that there needs to be more competition for all New Zealanders to benefit from better prices, more choice, and more convenient shopping.
“The Government’s response to the recommendations of the Market Study was to introduce the Grocery Industry Competition Bill, which will make us the regulator of the grocery sector,” says the Commission.
Work is well underway and in the first year the Commission will undertake to:
- Build awareness and understanding of the regime across the grocery sector and the public.
- Monitor the state of retail competition and consumer outcomes.
- Track compliance with the forthcoming Grocery Supply Code, which provides for fairer relationships between the big supermarkets and their suppliers and take enforcement action where needed.
- Assess how well the big supermarkets are providing other retailers with wholesale products.
The new regulatory regime will in time deliver benefits to New Zealanders by creating the conditions for existing retailers and new entrants to the sector to compete with the big supermarkets on price, location, and quality and range of products.
Consumers can play a key part by continuing to shop around for the best prices, where they can. This encourages retailers to compete on price, quality and range.
“Our new responsibilities to regulate sit alongside our ongoing work in the grocery sector enforcing the Fair Trading Act and the Commerce Act – with priorities including our focus on restrictive and exclusive covenants, refusals to supply due to low retail pricing, and pricing and promotional practices,” says the Commission.
Open letter to the Grocery Sector
The New Zealand Grocery Commissioner has written an open letter to the grocery sector, marking the coming into force of the Grocery Industry Competition Act.